A federal bankruptcy judge recently signed an order paving the way for Churchill Downs Inc. to make a contractual payment of nearly $150,000 to the Jockeys' Guild, which will use the money to pay medical and insurance bills.
The Jockeys' Guild has outlined a five-point plan for 2007 that primarily focuses on financial matters, but it also has made a strong call for solidarity among the membership and heightened political action in individual states and Washington, D.C.
The Jockeys' Guild, in a Dec. 15 press release, indicated its proposed slate of directors for the Disabled Jockeys' Endowment was rejected, and that associates of former president Dr. Wayne Gertmenian were named to oversee the fund.
In a further attempt to cut ties with former Jockeys' Guild president Dr. Wayne Gertmenian and his consulting firm Matrix Capital Associates, the Guild, under its new management, moved offices this week.
Soon after the Jockeys' Guild senate elected a new board that voted to terminate the management contract of Matrix Capital Associations Nov. 15, a few Guild members and employees were involved in an altercation with deposed management representatives at the Guild office in Monrovia, Calif.
Jockeys took back the reins of the Jockeys' Guild Tuesday when they voted to remove Guild president Dr. Wayne Gertmenian from his post, terminate the Guild's relationship with Gertmenian's consulting firm, Matrix Capital Associates, and appoint Guild national member representative Darrell Haire as temporary national manager of the organization.
As members of the Jockeys' Guild senate attempt to get a handle on the organization's financial situation and prepare for a possible vote on a management change, embattled president Dr. Wayne Gertmenian indicated he intended to follow through on a promise to Guild members that he wouldn't quit.
Darrell Haire, one of the more recognizable faces of the Jockeys' Guild as a national member representative who often appears at industry meetings on behalf of riders, on Nov. 9 called for the immediate resignation of Guild president Dr. Wayne Gertmenian.
Members of the Jockeys' Guild senate have called a special meeting for Nov. 15 to decide whether to remove the current board of directors, elect a new board, and replace the management team headed by Dr. Wayne Gertmenian and his company, Matrix Capital Associates. The jockeys who issued the release left little doubt they want a change.
The board of directors of the Jockeys' Guild will begin examining the organization's financial records at its office in Southern California, but members haven't made a decision on the status of Matrix Capital Associates, the entity that manages the Guild.
The Jockeys' Guild has responded to a request by a United States Congressional subcommittee related to its management, accounting and oversight of funds, but the information produced by the California-based Guild won't be available until the week of May 10.
A. U.S. Congressional subcommittee has asked the Jockeys' Guild to provide documents related to the Guild's management, accounting, and oversight of funds as well as information regarding Guild action relating to health insurance policies for on-track accident coverage.
Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron said he has "lost a tremendous amount of sleep" over the ongoing Jockeys' Guild conflict but is hopeful it will be resolved to the benefit of riders and the racing industry at large.
Jockey Shane Sellers, who has won more than 4,000 races in his career, will officially announce his retirement from riding Dec. 15, according to a release from the Jockeys' Guild.
The chief executive officer of the Jockeys' Guild has reiterated his calls for cooperation from the racing industry, and indicated the tracks, not the Guild, would be responsible should there be what he called a "war" between the two industry factions.
The Thoroughbred Racing Associations will ask the Jockeys' Guild to explain how it spends the $2.2 million a year it gives the Guild in exchange for their claim to media rights, TRA president Joe Harper said Dec. 9 after the organization met in Tucson, Ariz.
The Jockeys' Guild wrapped up its annual assembly Dec. 7 with the announcement that the contract of Matrix Capital Associates, headed by Dr. Wayne Gertmenian, has been extended through 2009. In addition, jockey Kent Desormeaux, who has said he was conducting due diligence into Guild business practices, failed to win re-election to the Guild senate and no longer sits on the executive committee.
The Jockeys' Guild began its annual meeting Dec. 6 with a call for solidarity -- even in the face of the dismissal of member Eddie King, who had sued the organization -- and a call for members not to talk to the press.
As the Jockeys' Guild prepares for its annual meeting in Irving, Texas, Dec. 6-7, organization management is under increasing fire from the racing industry and some of its own members. Still, the Guild appears poised to make a case for solidarity, and it remains to be seen whether substantial change will come about during the two-day meeting.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association Jockeys' Medical Insurance Panel has identified several consensus points and hopes to have recommendations in place by Dec. 31, officials said after the panel's first meeting Nov. 22 at Turfway Park in Kentucky.
A top official with the Jockeys' Guild has questioned the purpose of a new task force on insurance and indicated a resolution wouldn't be reached until the industry recognizes it must deal with Dr. Wayne Gertmenian, president and chief executive officer of the Guild.
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